StaffScapes Addresses Mental Health in the Workplace During the Coronavirus Crisis

Posted by on April 25, 2020 in Stuff with 0 Comments

On an unprecedented scale, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has jolted the global economy with life-changing repercussions. Nearly every aspect of the work environment has been upended. Millions of employees are now adjusting to remote work while the less fortunate are filing unemployment claims at a staggering rate. Regardless of employment status, everyone affected by the crisis now faces uncertainty, anxiety, and stress that takes a striking toll on the psyche.

StaffScapes, a specialist in small business HR outsourcing in Denver, CO, understands that employers and employees alike may be feeling overwhelmed by the current state of the world. While everyone manages stressful situations differently, it’s safe to say that emotions are high strung, and the climate is ripe with fear. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that employers lead by example and set the appropriate tone for their workforce, especially regarding mental health. Managers, human resource professionals, and business owners need to adapt and intervene to help their teams overcome the challenges of the time.

In this article, StaffScapes details several approaches that businesses can take to support their staff during this uncertain period.

Transparency

For the companies in a position to do so, reassure employees that their job, paycheck, and health benefits (if offered) are safe. Unfortunately, with so many variables out of everyone’s control, not every business has the financial resources to operate at full capacity. Therefore, it’s imperative to avoid wild speculation and emphasize transparency at all levels of the organization. Leaders who are honest upfront and acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers are more authentic and consequently provide greater comfort. It’s ok to show employees vulnerability; this doesn’t make a weak leader, quite the opposite.

Flexibility

Encourage managers to personalize their expectations and oversight for each employee’s unique circumstances. A large percentage of employees may be full-time parents now due to school closures. Others may live alone but are struggling with isolation and having a difficult time focusing on day-to-day activities. Help teams set boundaries, but remember to be flexible. Vocalize which work takes priority every week and which work can go on the back burner.

Encouragement

Consistently express gratitude towards teams for their hard work and perseverance. Pep talks can strengthen organization and business relationships long-term. Leaders should also encourage routines to help establish structure. The CDC recommends taking breaks from work and the news, exercising regularly, eating healthy, making time to unwind, and connecting with others (preferably digitally to practice social distancing) to share concerns and feelings.

Regular Check-Ins

Team meetings and one-on-one check-ins are useful in and out of global pandemics. If technology permits, continue conference calls per usual and incorporate a video element. Face-to-face interaction, even limited to a screen, can help ease tension. Begin the calls with a roundtable by asking how everyone is doing mentally and emotionally. Share your feelings and concerns to generate better rapport and support among the team.

Behavioral Health Services

While mental health is often overlooked in work culture, a business should implement a behavioral health support system. As reported by Peking University, Mind Share Partners, mental health affects 60% of workers’ productivity. Furthermore, the World Health Organization estimates that the global economy lost $1 trillion in 2019 as a result of depression and anxiety.

Some companies are ahead of the game regarding mental health services, but every business is capable of stepping up. If your benefits package doesn’t offer mental health counseling, research third party programs available online or in your community to guide employees to reputable resources.

About StaffScapes

StaffScapes helps businesses in the Metro-North area and throughout Colorado navigate the complex landscape of human resource compliance, policies, and best practices. We customize our approach to each client’s unique needs and work with firms that run the gamut of business types, from family-owned service businesses to manufacturers to disaster recovery firms that send employees all over the country.

Outsourcing your human resource work to an experienced partner simplifies one of the most complex and demanding areas of business. Together, we can create a better HR environment, avoid pitfalls, and let you focus on what you do best.

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